Summer on campus

By Tom

Although summer has not yet officially begun according to the calendar, it’s already in full swing here on campus. Summer at UR really begins around the end of May, once students and graduates have left campus and things have started to settle into their summer pace.

It’s certainly quieter on campus without the majority of the student body around. The first week after graduation is always the quietest – after that, students begin to return to campus for various reasons. Some are taking classes during May Term (which actually takes place mostly during June); May Term classes are intensive, so students take one or two classes for four to six weeks.

There are a large number of students who remain on campus over the summer to do research. Many are working with professors in the sciences or mathematics, but we also have students doing research in English, political science, philosophy, and a plethora of other fields. Students are typically paid for their summer research, which usually lasts about ten weeks. Student researchers get to live in the University Forest Apartments, which gives rising sophomores and juniors a taste of what apartment living will be like during their senior year. (Ben, one of our Spider Diary writers, is on campus doing math research this summer and is writing about it on his blog.) It always amazes me to see how many undergraduate students we have doing research – many right out of their first year – and being paid for it, too!

Other students are on campus working jobs for the summer – in the library, for example, or here in admissions (we hire a number of wonderful summer interns and tour guides so we can continue offering tours and student interaction over the summer – if you visit this summer, you’ll get to meet some of them!) Summer housing is also available for students doing internships in the Richmond area.

Here in the Office of Admission, summer is certainly less hectic than the rest of the year, but there is still plenty going on. We spend of lot of time planning for the coming year (working out all of our fall travel plans, for example); we also have a number of special events and programs going on, like College Summit (a conference we host that addresses issues of college access) or the counselor visitation events that are keeping Maria so busy these days. We’re in heavy editing mode right now for next year’s publications (Viewbook, brochures, etc.) – an intensive process in which I’m pretty involved. And we continue to receive a regular stream of visitors, doing college tours or working college visits into their summer vacation plans.

Editing publications usually results in massive piles of sticky-notes being left over. This is one day’s work.

All in all, summer is busy enough that it doesn’t get boring, but it’s also a nice break from the bordering-on-chaos that we experience throughout much of the year (travel season, reading season, spring campus events, etc.) It’s a good time to reflect, plan ahead, and build up energy for another exciting admission cycle.

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